Tag Archive: j.j abrams


Star Trek Into Darkness Cumberbatch Pine

Dir. J.J. Abrams
(2013, PG-13, 123 minutes)

During an interview on The Daily Show promoting Star Trek: Into Darkness, I think director J.J. Abrams unintentionally copped to dumbing down the Trek franchise to attract a wider audience. Specifically he said, “I never liked Star Trek when I was a kid … it always felt too philosophical to me … [Star Trek fans] were much smarter than I was. I couldn’t get it, and so we tried to make it work for people like me …”

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Dir. J.J. Abrams
(2011, PG-13, 115 min)

Comparisons between Super 8 and E.T. The Extraterrestrial are apt, but mostly as an observation of how summer entertainment has changed in the last thirty years. I don’t think E.T. would have been made in 2011, not in the form we all know. It would have to look more like Super 8, which is to say the following changes would have to be made: (1) the alien would have to be bigger, uglier, composed with CGI, and leap into the frame for big whooshing gotcha effects. (2) There would have to be more explosions. A lot more explosions. If you think you have just enough explosions, add a few more. Movie audiences won’t stand for a summer movie where something isn’t blowing up all the time … except E.T. of course.

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The crew of the Enterprise, in 'Star Trek'

Dir. J.J. Abrams
(2009, PG-13, 127 min)
★ ★ ½

I’m a Trekkie — er, Trekker — or whatever we’re calling ourselves these days. Trek-American? But as the series entered a fifth cycle on television in 2001 and a ninth sequel in theaters in 2002, it was clear that the franchise needed a significant reboot; there are only so many stories you can generate from following a captain and his crew through space on variations of the same ship, and I think the makeup department was running out of ideas for alien species. So I was excited when I learned that J.J. Abrams, geek-auteur of the television gems Alias and Lost, would take the reins. I’m no purist. When new ideas are needed, I’ll take them from all comers; imagine how much better the Star Wars prequels might have been if George Lucas had collaborated with Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon, or Ronald D. Moore, who triumphantly re-imagined another beloved science fiction antiquity: Battlestar Galactica.

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